Quotable Viggo

Quotable Viggo 2007-2009

Print View

Goto page: 1 2 ... 13 Next

Quotable Viggo: 27th December 2009

Here is the last part of my three part (and rather indulgent) Favourite Quotes collection. This time I've picked ones by friends and colleagues. There are several, of course, from David Cronenberg - a Director/Actor match made in heaven - and a couple of familiar classics from Elijah Wood along the way. I'm starting off with one from our dear friend Miguel and finishing with my number 1 most favourite quote of all, from Dennis Hopper. I think he nails it!

© New Line/2006 Yahoo! Iberia SL/Circle Films/Focus Features/Miramax Films/Westmount

Quotes from friends and colleagues

He doesn't need to wield a sword to be recognized. For those who can see beyond that, his personality stands out from the rest with no need of spotlights. He has his own light.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

'He's never different,' the guitarist says. There's a long silence. 'He doesn't seem like he belongs in this time.'

Buckethead on Viggo
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006

"Viggo's our king. He's one of my favourite people in life.

Elijah Wood
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003

"He's being true to himself. And people here are not really used to that or comfortable with that. And I love the fact that, as far as I have been able to see, he has not given away any of his mystery. People want to figure you out so they can move on. But he's the one who moves on." His muse, Lane says, is the tramp. "He can be as debonair as he wants. For that afternoon. But then the tramp will call him again."

Diane Lane on Viggo and Hollywood
Finding Viggo, by Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

"I'm really honoured and privileged to introduce to you a man of conviction, of compassion, intelligence, artistic integrity, a great actor and a fine citizen of the world, a man I'm proud to call my friend : Viggo Mortensen."

Ed Harris introducing Viggo at Deauville
With thanks to Dom and Ellie
13 September 2008

Viggo wears his beauty so carelessly and deflects flattery with a wry head-on-the-side smile of modesty.

Ian McKellen
"The White book", Mckellen.com
July 15, 2003

"Viggo is terrifying. He sends you a handwritten letter, all decorated and painted, and when he arrives at your house for dinner he's an intolerable guy: he cleans the fish and picks up the dishes. My wife is fascinated, and she compares the two of us. Damn, what's a guy supposed to do? The bar is set very high."

Agustín Díaz Yanes
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007

I didn't need Lord of the Rings to know Viggo was a prince.

Richard Clabaugh, Cinematographer for American Yakuza


"Viggo's cheap, he's available and he's obedient! And he's got a great chin."

David Cronenberg
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007

"In the movie, Viggo was wearing Armani. We don't allow him on the street like that, because he can't carry off the class when he's being himself."

David Cronenberg
Mortensen, director discuss their noirish
Eastern Promises
By Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee,
12 September 2007

"The insurance company told him not to do it, but he's mad as a snake."

Joe Penhall, novel adaptor, talking about the running into the sea scene
The Ultimate Road Movie
By Nick Roggick
London Evening Standard
4 September 2009

'I had to have some definition in my body if I was going to take my shirt off in the same movie that Viggo runs around naked in. Trust me, that's mighty intimidating.'

Liev Schreiber talking about A Walk on the Moon
Calgary Sun, April 1999

"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

Elijah Wood
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004


"I wondered what would happen to him..."

Peter Weir
Witness Special Collector's Edition Review
By Toni Ruberto
The Buffalo News, 9 Sept 2005

"he... takes the best out of Method and leaves the bullshit behind."

David Cronenberg
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

"...with Viggo you don't just get a violin, you get a whole symphony orchestra."

David Cronenberg
RT talks Eastern Promises
By Sara Schieron, Rotten Tomatoes
12 September 2007

"He literally brings the kitchen sink for a character."

Sean Penn
History Teacher by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly, August 19, 2005

Viggo could earn his crust with his art, so he doesn't have to stay. How long this industry will be able to keep him is up to the quality of the material. We are very lucky to have him now."

John Rhys-Davies
Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002

"From the first moment you start to see the film, you realize that Viggo is not playing a Spaniard, the thing is that he is a Spaniard."

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Mano a Mano
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy

There are actors whose performances come as light emanating from the screen. Then there's Mortensen. His effect is gravitational. It draws you closer, inward.

Actor Geoffrey Rush after seeing the film at Tiff
Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post Film Critic

'If Viggo and I convince people we're enjoying every second of that encounter we've really done our job as actors. It was freezing in that river. The water was filled with debris and cigarette butts and the rocks were covered in little worms.'

Diane Lane on the Waterfall scene
Calgary Sun, 10 April 1999

"Nicole and I had to beat him up. We called him Kiddie just to try and get him to treat us like pals. Of course, eventually we warmed him up so much we couldn't control him."

Jane Campion talking about The Portrait of a Lady
The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
by Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine 1997


All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph

'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Exene Cervenkova
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997

"The connotation of celebrity art isn't very good," Mann says. "It implies dilettante. I wouldn't put Viggo in that context. He doesn't have to paint, that's not the point. I think he really needs to make art, really needs to."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
In the Spotlight But Shining On Its Own - Celebrity Art
by Lisa Crawford Watson
Art Business News, 2001

"If Mortensen were locked in a box in a prison in total darkness, with no pens, no tools, no books, he would make something amazing out of it."

Dennis Hopper
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 19 December 2009

Yes, I'm still celebrating 100 Quotables (though this is the 101st)! Here is part two of my all-time favourite quotes and this week I'm concentrating on quotes from critics, interviewers and the media. Some of these are full of astute insights, others still have me laughing even though I must have read them 100 times. Next week I'll be giving you my favourite quotes from friends and colleagues - an extra Christmas treat - but until then...

©New Line/Odd Lot Entertainment/Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures/Focus Films/20th Century Fox

Part 2 Quotes from critics and the media

Film reviews

...as weathered and craggily handsome as any butte in Monument Valley.

Richard Corliss talking about Appaloosa
19 September 2008

...as charismatic as Steve McQueen and as beautiful as a saint in a master painting.

Dana Stevens talking about Eastern Promises
13 Sept 2007

He's a master of minimalism - what most actors need a monologue to express, Mortensen can convey in one wordless close-up, from behind sunglasses. But a long, naked fight sequence? You've got to admire his balls. And now you can.

Ryan Gilbey talking about Eastern Promises
New Statesman
18 October 2007

Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode talking about A History of Violence
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005

Mortensen puts the 'must' into Mustang - untamed compulsions drive him.

Lone Star
by Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004

Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent.

ROTK review
Film Hobbit
16 December 3003

Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Ken Dubois Carlito's Way Ultimate Edition DVD Review
October 2005

We love you Viggo

How many peculiar things would one need to add to Viggo Mortensen's face before he ceases to be hot?

On the Appaloosa moustache and goatee
Awards Daily
Ryan Adams
8 August 2008

I know this might be a little "cliche" to say on this site, but honestly folks, how can anyone look at Viggo Mortensen's awesome beard and NOT want to build a hut in it?? I mean, even just for the summertimes, you know? Great man...even greater beard!!

Reaction to Viggo's 'Road' look at the Oscars
25 February 2008

....even sitting in a plastic chair under the unflattering glare of fluorescent, in a drab office at Miramar Productions' headquarters in New Zealand, Viggo Mortensen is by far the dishiest bloke ever to have donned a crown.

The King and I
by Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph, 2003

He has that incurable, unbearable, enigmatic eroticism of a three in the morning dream you've just awakened from.

Talking With Viggo,
George magazine 1999

Short and sweet

...constitutionally incapable of creative blockage.

True Colors
By Margot Dougherty
Los Angeles Magazine

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004

Why, it's Aragorn Powers: International Middle-Earth Man of Mystery!

Comment on the Red Suit worn at the Copenhagen Eastern Promises Premier
Life&style Magazine
October 2007

...an enigma wrapped in a Mets T-shirt.

Viggo the Sponge
By Jake Coyle, MSNBC
21 Sept 2007

Most actors will agree on the value of appearing enigmatic. But there is enigmatic and then there is Viggo Mortensen...

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

...he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial...

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009

...there is reason to suspect Viggo Mortensen was born on a dying planet light years away.

Philip Martin at TIFF
Arkansas Democratic Gazette
September 16, 2008

Mortensen is not what Tolkien's Treebeard would call "hasty."

After Aragorn
by Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004

He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

Mortensen is a matinee idol with a philosopher's soul -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau trapped in the body of Rudolph Valentino.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

All things arty

Mortensen has a disposition towards an archaeology of emotions, of things that are buried, weathered but surviving along with the rest of us.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

His work is a trace of his own adventure, lived openly and exploratively, with curiosity and a constant sense of surprise.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

He lives his way and gets entangled in whatever he finds in his path. Then, he gives it back transformed into a sort of abstract personal experience that he quietly shares with those who want to get closer.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León, by María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

And finally...

The Empire Icon award this year went to the disgustingly multitalented Viggo Mortensen, who speaks more languages than God, paints, writes poetry and still finds time to do a bit of acting.

Jameson Empire Award Winners Announced!
Helen O'Hara
Empire Online
30 March 2009

If fame came with a report card, Viggo's would say can do better.

The Man Who Would Be King
By Nick Dent
December 2001
Black & White magazine, #58

Quotable Viggo: 12 December 2009

It's hard to believe, but I have posted 100 Quotables here at Viggo-Works. I've tried, every week, to present a new theme or to reflect what's currently happening in Viggodom. The fact that I've been able to has been entirely down to Viggo - few people lead such a multi-faceted public life, speak so eloquently on such a wide range of subjects or attract so much admiration and (quite often) astonishment. His self-depreciating wit attracts equal wit from interviewers, friends and commentators. Hardly a week goes by when I don't find something fascinating out there to add to the collection.

Now that I'm 100 Quotables old I'm going to indulge myself over the next three weeks and celebrate with my all-time absolute favourites. Although the choice is very personal to me - they have either inspired me or made me laugh - most will (hopefully) be favourites of yours too. You have no idea how hard it's been to reduce them down to a manageable size! This week I'm concentrating on things Viggo himself has said, then I'll follow it up with comments about him from interviewers and reviewers, and finally from friends and colleagues. I'm posting them with thanks to Viggo, a man it's impossible to be bored with.

©Dimension Films/Good Films/New Line/20th Century Fox Espana/Focus Features/Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures/Miramax Films/Zenith/Village Roadshow/Warner Brothers/Westmount

Part 1: Quotes by Viggo

Thoughts on Life, the Universe and everything

"...I think that having the courage to be oneself is the most difficult thing in the world. The most essential and also the most magnificent."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 2008

"We may not know why we're here, or where we're going after we die, but if you're here, you might as well be here. And being here means paying attention, I think."

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
Sara Stewart
New York Post
December 2008

"I think five minutes can be an eternity if it's well used, you know. There are periods of time that are gems, but you don't have to go into a blizzard in South Dakota or into the rain forests of New Zealand or the middle of the Sahara. You can find that just walking down the street."

Viggo Mortensen
The Rebel King
by Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004

"Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

"I feel at home in many places, and with time, I learned that in life it is more important who you are, what you do and how you feel than where you are."

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela

Art, photography and writing

'Words were everywhere I looked, filling dreams, giving me names for everything. It was all I could do to keep up with them, catch a few as they drifted through me, fell now and then from clouds, from my eyes to the table, onto my lap or became tangled in horses' manes. Most of the words got away, as they usually will, but at night I regularly managed to gather them in bunches.'

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004

'Make [art] purely to please yourself and then there's a chance to please someone else - that's what it means to me. Everyone has a few friends that they can listen to. You don't have to agree with them, but their opinion is worthwhile. If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen, by Scott Thill, Morphizm 2002

A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens.

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
Translated by Ragga
June 2008

"If I have a day off, I'm not at a Hollywood party. I'm not the type of actor who lives in the press. I'd rather be home in shorts and a T-shirt surrounded by paint brushes, a blank canvas and have a few candles burning as the day fades into the night."

Superstar Viggo's a serious soul at heart
by Cindy Pearlman,
Chicago Sun Times
9 Sept 2007

"This world is a dream we all contribute to, in one way or another. We are part of the dream, if we are aware or not, if we like it or not. These pictures are a part of my dream, of the way I exist and act in the world."

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

"This is only me and my camera. I sit down and watch the sky, stop, and maybe sing a little or write something down. When I have time to do that, I am as happy as I can be."

Viggo Mortensen
Capable Of Many Things
By Hanna Björk Valsdóttir - translated by Ragga
30 May 2008
Source: Fréttablaðið

What was it that inspired you to start making photos?

Nothing in particular. Perhaps it has something to do with a sort of incurable, persistent nosiness.

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
by Natalie Dodecker
American Photo magazine 2000

"I think I'm essentially hopeful and the reason that I paint or photograph or listen to someone who is speaking to me is that I hope something might happen."

The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001


"I'm hoping to shoot a movie with an elephant soon, and I've no idea where I'm going to put him."

Viggo asked about buying horses from his films
Long Live the King
By Paul Byrne
April 2004

"After this movie wraps, I'm thinking of going into goatherding, like my mother and her mother before her."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Prison'
Prison Press Kit Biography, 1988

'...they're terrible at writing, but I look forward to seeing them soon.'

Viggo on his horses in New Zealand
'Ordinary guy' role a treat for Mortensen
By Russell Baillie
New Zealand Herald
March 18 2006

"There's a beard stubble farm, as it happens, just north of Sante Fe where they grow the best beard stubble in the world.... They use a rare ... kind of mountain goat turd they put on it and when it was ready, they knocked me out with some kind of weird peyote stuff and sewed it on."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008

The eldest of three brothers, Viggo was born in New York in 1958 and given his father's name. Viggo is, he says, considered in contemporary Denmark to be a slightly archaic, eccentric name for a young man. "It would be like being called Herbert..."

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004

On being thought a sex-symbol

'The one who is really happy about it is my mother.'

Viggo Mortensen on being told he is a sex-symol
"I'm permanently dissatisfied", by Amelia Enríquez, Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

Me: We have to talk about women, because you are the sexiest man alive.

Him: So there are a lot of dead men who are sexier?

Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006

SC: I read somewhere that you had the best walk. What's that about?

VM: Really? (Laughs) I don't know. How do you they know? I guess people are standing behind you. Yeah ... watching me walk. What's a good walk? I stay in a straight line, I think. That's a good thing to aim for.

Leggo My Viggo,
by Suzan Colon,
Jane magazine 1999


"A movie set is like a ritual, with all the trappings and preparation. I feel like when we go to a set and we rehearse - or not - and we're wearing these costumes and saying these words, it's like an invocation, an invitation to magic, to the unexplained, to let the unexpected to enter into our lives."

Viggo Mortensen
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon,
Entertainment Today, 2001

"Dreams about becoming famous wasn't what got me into acting to begin with, but the dream about telling stories."

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008
Source: Morgunblaðið

"I like the big stories, the big landscapes, the big sweep. But I also find that in little stories. I'm interested in tests and ordeals. That can happen in the Sahara Desert... but it can also happen in a room, in a kitchen sink drama. It happens in people's lives."

Viggo Mortensen
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstrete
ChristianityToday, 2004

"You supply the blue and they supply the other colours and mix them with your blue. And maybe there's some blue left in the painting and maybe there isn't. Maybe there wasn't supposed to be any there in the first place. So have some fun and make a good blue, and walk away. I try to do that. Sometimes I succeed."

Viggo Mortensen on acting
St. Lawrence University: March 1, 2003

"I dunno, maybe I'm channeling some barbaric ancestor or something."

Viggo Mortensen on his convincing performance in A History of Violence
E online
22 Sept 2005

"I heard Lord of the Rings win their first one and I thought, 'Well, I can lie here in the dark like an idiot, or I can go out and be a man and sit in the kitchen and watch it with everybody else."

Viggo Mortensen on trying to avoid the Oscars at a friends house
David Letterman Show, 2004


"I have never been in a natural place and felt that that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile."

Viggo Mortensen
The Brain Dane
by Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003

'Mother Nature is the first school. She makes you wise if you watch her. '

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006


'...activism is not a dirty word.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006

'A couple of days ago, a man wrote a letter to the Watertown Daily Times saying, in effect, that he would not vote for Bob Johnson just because Viggo Mortensen thought he ought to. He was absolutely right.'

Viggo Mortensen's Watertown Speech in support of Dr. Bob Johnson,
Democratic party candidate for congress
Watertown, NY
9 September 2006

Viggo is wearing a green jacket on which he has stitched with light blue thread a vintage United Nations patch. "I just like both the words," he says to the audience, explaining this clothing choice. "United and Nations. I think they go well together. A lot better than separately."

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004

And some thoughts to finish with...

When I ask him for his favourite joke he responds with a rare one-word answer: "Me".

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009

If you were a member of a tribe, what would be your special role in it, and why?

I am a member of a tribe, and am happy with my role, which is to mind the fire.

ForWord magazine
17 January 2007

How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo
by Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

'Now I see things in hindsight and what I learned in those years is what has made me who I am today. And, even though I recognize that I'm a rather strange guy, I don't think the end result has been so bad.'

Viggo Mortensen on growing up in Argentina
"I'm permanently dissatisfied"
by Amelia Enríquez, Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

Quotable Viggo: 5 December 2009

Having had the enormous privilege of seeing The Road at the London Film Festival, I really believe that 'The Man' is the greatest performance that Viggo has given to date. I also think it's one of the best performances that anyone has given to date. I've rounded up the best of the latest reviews and I'm sure that they fill every one here at Viggo-Works with pride. Give this man an Oscar already. And come on, Weinsteins, get this film out there to those who are still waiting patiently to see it, not just us here at V-W but frustrated posters from many, many blogs and internet sites. It's been a very long time getting The Road on the road, don't disappoint us now!

Image Javier Aquirresarobe. © 2929/Dimension Films.

Mr. Mortensen gives him a gaunt grandeur--it doesn't hurt that the actor's face can evoke paintings of Christ without a muscle being moved--and an emotional spectrum that is muted but remarkably wide, considering the character's plight and the author's spare style. The man's young son, terrified by a cataclysm he can't comprehend but still capable of sweet optimism and kindness, is played by Kodi Smit-McPhee. Between the two performances there's not a false note.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
26 November 2009

The movie resides not in descriptive language but in the eyes of his protagonists. And there the film finds its unique identity. If Hillcoat had erred in the casting, if Mortensen and Smit-McPhee had let an ounce of Hollywood slip into their performances, the movie would have been unendurable. But the two actors triumph, drawing us into their characters' bruised hearts and minds.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
25 November 2009

An old hand at heroes ("The Lord of the Rings") and enigmas ("Eastern Promises"), Mortensen delivers a performance of pure, agonized transparency.

Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
25 November 2009

...when an actor like Viggo Mortensen is in front of the camera, it's best to just let the camera run and let him be. Mortensen gives a brilliant, genius performance. His character's every breath is not just his own, but a breath for his son, a breath for hope, and Mortensen conveys that with harrowing accuracy.

Brandon Lee Tenney
25 November 2009

Mr. Mortensen, looking haggard and haunted, pushes it toward realism. A surpassingly quiet and thoughtful actor, he specializes in making improbable characters -- a warrior in "Lord of the Rings," a Russian mobster in "Eastern Promises," a small-town dad with a secret in "A History of Violence" -- seem like natural extensions of his own personality. In Mr. McCarthy's skeletal, purple-tinted prose, the father is less a cipher than an axiom, an embodiment of flinty paternal steadfastness partly humanized by doubts and flaws. Mr. Mortensen puts flesh on the bones and a soul behind the exhausted, terrified eyes.

A. O. Scott
New York Times
25 November 2009

When the world goes boom, I want Viggo Mortensen to be my dad. Who's better to keep your spirits up in the hideous post-apocalyptic afterlife, as pictured in John Hillcoat's The Road, the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy epic-length tome? Mortensen, as always, brings grave dimension and inner grace to an Everyman part he's mastered. This is perhaps the greatest of those roles.

Marshall Fine
Huffington Post
24 November 2009

The best thing about the film is Viggo Mortensen's performance. A stealth talent of many shadings, Mortensen has a way of fitting easily into nearly any period, any milieu.

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
24 November 2009

The dramatic tension and narrative suspense come from silences that speak louder than words and explosions, and from the raw and powerful performances. There seems to be no end to Viggo Mortensen's talents. His portrait of a man driven by spirited parental love, whose last act on earth is to prepare his son for the courage to live without his protection, is so touching that ... well, all I can say is, prepare to be emotionally hammered.

Rex Reed
New York Observer
24 November 2009

Starring Viggo Mortensen in an alternately feral and saintly performance of shattering emotional depth - his are the most haunted eyes I've ever seen sustained in a film performance

Carl Kozlowski
Big Hollywood
24 November

Mortensen will never be the kind of actor who can disappear into a role, not with his haunted, piercing eyes. But he can commit as fiercely as the young DeNiro. Midway into "The Road" Mortensen strips for a bath, revealing a frightfully emaciated frame. Mortensen can get into his characters' skins, but also their souls, and he knows how to project a characters inner life onto the screen.

Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald
24 November 2009

Mortensen's compelling performance is a sure bet come nominations. Though I doubt it will win. But it equally deserves as the other nominees. His sad and terrified expressions are enough to make the film utterly believable. I personally have not seen a performance this good that has made me draw a couple of tears since Will Smith's A Pursuit of Happiness.

Paolo Sardinas
24 November 2009

Mortensen's performance is a thing of wonder; he is an actor whose instrument is more finely tuned with each new venture. Using his entire body to signal pain, but particularly wielding his glassy eyes like sharp little weapons, the actor captures a cagey, yet hopeful spirit, a good man in a worst case scenario trying to do what he can to get by. Not unlike the greatest leading men in classic Hollywood westerns, Mortensen is stoic, brimming with quiet fury.

Hitting 'The Road' with Director John Hillcoat
Matt Mazur
22 November 2009

On its own grueling terms, The Road works. It brings you down, down, down, and its characters' famishment is contagious: Your heart leaps at the sight of a can of peaches. Mortensen, bearded, smudged, greasy-haired, has a primal, haggard beauty.

David Edelstein
New York Magazine
15 November 2009

Viggo Mortensen gives an emotional tour de force as the embattled father; look for him on the red carpet come March.

Zach Copeland
The Film Crusade
13 November 2009

...failures of altruism disturb the boy, and he worries his father with the question, "Are we still the good guys?". Such is the power of the veteran Viggo Mortensen - increasingly a latter-day Gary Cooper - and epigone Kodi Smit-McPhee that we never doubt the answer for a moment.

Clive Sinclair
The Times Literary Supplement
2 November 2009

Quotable Viggo: 28 November 2009

Viggo's recent appearance on the Letterman Show treated us to a hilarious account of the day he cooked and ate his roadkill rather than waste it. Viggo has had various interesting encounters while following the call of the wild and one thing's for certain, if he ever gets lost in the woods again (and I'm pretty sure he will) we know that he knows how to look after himself. He can fish, subdue coral snakes, prepare a rabbit, .... I expect he even knows how to build a log cabin from twigs. He's a bit of a wild man of the woods at heart.

© New Line Productions Inc.

Like the philosopher Thoreau, Viggo likes to lose himself in the woods, into the wild, in a trip into nature to find beauty and freedom, and to find the essence of life....

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

VM: Rabbits sometimes run out in front of your car, right? Well, I hit this rabbit on this lonely road in the South Island and I wanted to make sure it was dead. If it wasn't, I'd put it out of its misery. And it was quite dead, so I thought, 'Well, why waste it?' And so I made a little fire and ate it.

Q: Is this something that you thought Aragorn would have done?

VM: As he was driving down the road and if he hit a rabbit? Yeah, he might. If he was hungry, I guess.

The Hero Returns
by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

As a child, he loved comic books and was obsessed with adventure stories, tales of Vikings and explorers. If he was not going to be a soccer player, he wanted to be a gaucho. "I liked the whole cowboy thing, I suppose," he remembers. "Being self-sufficient, living off the land. You know, a knife in the back of your belt."

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004

"Every once in a while you do something really dumb when you're a kid and you realize when you're an adult that that's dangerous, but.. you know.. There was one time when I was coming home at the end of the day, going through the paddocks, and you open the gates from horseback, and the last gate I was about to grab the latch and there was this beautiful, beautiful snake wrapped around it... it was orange and black and white stripes. And I thought 'I'm going to take this home and show it to my family'. And I tried to grab it and he tried to get me. And I like whacked it just to stun it and I grabbed it by the neck and opened the gate and got through, closed it and said "Dad, dad, look what I got." And he freaked out, 'cos it was a Coral snake, which if you get bit I think two minutes, three minutes, you're dead."

Viggo Mortensen
David Letterman Show, 2004

I've heard that you immersed yourself in your role to a great degree. You lived in the woods at times during production on LOTR. Is that true?

I think people exaggerate that. When I get the chance, I go fishing or wandering. I did a little backpacking and camping.

The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50
January 2001

"I've been lost in the woods before in the winter time and had to figure out how to get out. I've been lost in New Zealand and lost in northern Norway, where it got cold very suddenly and I was not prepared or dressed as warmly as I should have been. I probably shouldn't have been hiking in that area that late in the year.

"I thought, 'Oh, the weather is good right now,' which was dumb, because it got cold, so I really didn't deserve to get through it that easily."

Viggo Mortensen was the perfect choice to play McCarthy's Road survivor
14 September 2009

Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Mortensen at the Massey exhibition, NZ.
Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
by Bess Mason
Dominion Post, 2003

"At some point, I ended up in a marshy area and I kept falling down and getting cut by thorns. I just thought, 'This is stupid,' so I found a piece of relatively high ground and lay down for a while until the moon came up.

"Fortunately, when the moon did finally come up, I managed to get my bearings and figured how to get back to where I started from," he recalls. "When I showed up, I really alarmed the makeup people because it looked like I'd been through a grinder!"

Viggo Mortensen
By Desmond Sampson
New York City, NY
Pavement #62,
Summer 2003-2004

'...when you are wandering in a hardwood or in the mountains or stand in a big, cold, mirroring lake, fishing. Then you are close to being happy - and what more can a man want.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)
August 2001

Peter Jackson....recounted a tale about a gruelling day on the film set. He couldn't believe his eyes when, after they returned to base, he spotted Viggo heading off to go fishing. But he wasn't surprised later that evening to see him appear back at camp carrying a huge trout.

Lord of the Horse
By Anne and Lynne Huddleston
Manawatu Evening Standard
8 December 2003

Mortensen also fell head-over-reel in love with New Zealand because he's a keen angler. He particularly enjoyed wandering off into the wilds, looking for remote rivers to do a spot of fly-fishing. "There are some streams where the fishing's so good, I wouldn't tell you about them,"

Viggo Mortensen
By Desmond Sampson
New York City, NY
Pavement #62,
Summer 2003-2004

"He could really earn his keep as a painter, certainly as a photographer," says his Rings co-star John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli, a dwarf. "He is also a substantially better fisherman than I am. He can catch more fish, and I hate him for that!"

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
by Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
Star, 2003

He tells me about the time [as a baby] he crawled into the woods and fell asleep. "I was sleeping under a tree, and it was very peaceful," he says. "And then a dog started barking, and that's how my parents found me."

You are always escaping, I say.

Yeah, he says. He calls his mother - on my cell phone, because he doesn't have one - to double-check his recollection. "Hi, it's Viggo. Sorry to be calling so late," he says. "Oh shit. You're in the middle of it? That's funny. Is it the tape? [She was watching a tape of The Two Towers.] O.K., sorry, it's just a quick question and then I'll let you get back to what you're doing. Remember there were a couple of times I ran away? And the time the dog came and found me in the woods? How old was I then? About one and a half. O.K. But, anyway, the dog came and found me and I was sitting under a tree? Happy? Sleeping, right?"

Big look of consternation.

"I was sitting in the middle of the woods crying? I thought I was sleeping. Are you sure?"

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 21 November 2009

It's very apt that Viggo is starring in a film called The Road as Viggo is always a man on the move, not just globetrotting from country to country but always travelling onwards through his various creative endeavours and being propelled by his desire to learn about the world and pretty much everything in it. The Robert Louis Stevenson words given below clearly mean a lot to him as he's quoted them in many interviews: "To travel hopefully is better than to arrive.' If Viggo is anything, he is - like The Man - a hopeful traveller who believes the journey really is worthwhile.

© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.

"I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson who said this," Mortensen says, "it was about meandering through a career, or the arts in general, without seeming to have a deliberate plan. He said, 'To travel hopefully is better than to arrive, and the true success is in the labor.' That's a great line, 'To travel hopefully.' That's what I'd like to do."

Viggo Mortensen
The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
by Paul Young
Variety Life, 2003

Always at the peak of the events, do you have some inner, emotional stability?

"Yes, it exists in the equilibrium I successfully create inside me. On one side I do appreciate the moment I live in, on the other side I'm always ready to go somewhere else."

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 2009

"I knew that if we did it right, it would be a challenge emotionally. I would have to go on a journey."

Viggo talking about filming The Road
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

Ostensibly, Mortensen is in town to promote his role as a conflicted, compromised German professor in Good, a small-scale drama that - in his words - "needs all the support it can get". He could have got away with delivering the sales spiel. Instead, he's content to go lolloping off after his own train of thought and in the end, the best option is to give up and drift along for the ride. In Mortensen's view, the journey is always more entertaining than the destination anyway.

The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009

'I'm a very curious guy and I stick my nose in everything. I travel a lot because I'm interested in knowing how the rest of the world lives. I love to learn about other cultures, to submerge myself in them, to learn of points of view that are different from mine.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm a guy who sticks his nose in everything"
By Stuart Gollum, Gala Magazine
30 August 2006

'Traveling is probably the number one most effective anti-war weapon there is.'

Viggo Mortensen on "Good"
By Aaron Hillis
31 December 2008

What appealed to the actor going in [to The Lord of the Rings], as with many of his roles, including Hidalgo, was the ordeal. "Ordeal has a negative connotation, I guess," he says, "but I think mostly it's a positive. I think of ordeal in terms of a test. The challenge of a long and difficult journey. I do think that when you go for a walk by yourself or travel, when you test yourself, all the distractions fall away. Everything gets focused. Whether ordeals are brief or long, they clarify; the purify your life."

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
April 2004
Source: GQ magazine

"I think that's kind of healthy, for people to see an American heroic character in a big-budget studio movie who goes to the Middle East not to blow up a bunch of stuff or instruct people in the American way," he says. "He learns along the way, not only about himself and what he and his horse are capable of but also about those he's competing against. And then he goes home. It's another story, like 'Lord of the Rings,' where the lessons learned on the journey are more important than the destination."

Viggo talking about Hidalgo
by Hugh Hart
San Francisco Chronicle, 2003

The story of Hidalgo, as told in John Fusco's script, mixes historical details with a heavy dose of myth and speculation. Mortensen spells out the familiar pattern: A hero's character is determined not by whether or not he is triumphant, but by the choices he makes during a dangerous journey or a strenuous race. "To complete the cycle in the classic hero journey, there is one more step: What does that person (or group of persons) do with what they've learned from the experience?"

After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
Seattle, WA 5 March 2004
Source: ChristianityToday.com

What do you enjoy more than acting?

The journey. The internal and external journey, but you have to make an effort, because there are actors who accept a role, they film a scene, and they shut themselves in the trailer and maybe they haven't learned so much. It's like everything in life: you have to give to receive something.

An Old-Fashioned Hero
By Daniel Ritz - translated by Margarita
April 2007
Source: Cinemania (Mexico)

The photographer Mortensen invites people to keep their eyes open to find out the details (and the poetry) of everyday life.

He quotes Proust ('The true journey is not to look for new landscapes, but to look at the world with new eyes') and Buddha ('Doubt everything, find your own light').

By means of the camera, Viggo has found his light on the path.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

ST: Where did you come up with the name?

VM: Well, the legend of Perceval involves, in part - I'm sure you know about this - the notion of choosing and making your own way. A group of knights comes to the edge of a forest and each one makes his individual path. They consciously choose not to take a path that's already there, but instead create their own. Symbolically, that was the idea behind the press, and that is what we have tried to do with each book.

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003

Is there anything you regret not having even attempted?

Yes, many things. But it's never too late. I wish I had learned music at a younger age, but I did many things and I was very lucky about the people and places that
I got to know in my travels, the experiences I had, the people I loved and the ones that loved me. I cannot complain.

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela

'See you soon, traveller of the world, Leonese at heart!'

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
'I never imagined such an affectionate and multitudinous welcome'
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Translated for V-W by Paddy
Sept 2006

Quotable Viggo: 14 November 2009

Ananya has coined a new phrase for us this week: Sir Gorgeous of Gondor, which seems to suit Viggo very well as he has the true Knightly attributes of loyalty, courage, honour and courtesy along with being, well, GORGEOUS. This made me think that it's been a while since we had a fun Quotable about what an attractive man he is. To quote Rita Kempley, trying hard to maintain her dignity in the Washington Post in 2001: "Mortensen, as Strider, is a revelation, not to mention downright gorgeous'. So here are some gorgeous quotes from the incurably smitten about our knight in shining armour, some new and some not-to-be-forgotten old favourites.

© New Line Productions Inc.

Sure, he's cute. Well, not cute. Strikingly, jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Nina Siegal
The Progressive
November 2005

....leading-man Mortensen is perfect. Not only does the actor possess the matinee-idol looks and dripping-testosterone sex appeal of an action-star god, but he carries all the hero baggage of his orc-slaying days in Middle Earth.

A History of Violence Review
Amanda Andrade
Michigan Daily
October 03, 2005

Admittedly Aragorn, son of Arathorn, was already pretty handsome when he was calling himself Strider and getting about Middle-earth on foot. On horseback though, he is irresistible with his flowing hair and rippling muscles echoing his horse's for an aesthetic double whammy. Who cares about the fate of hairy-footed Frodo when we can dream instead of being swept up into those brawny arms and galloped away with.

Once more into the breech
Sunday Times
11 October 2004

You can have your wee hobbits and wizened wizards. Give me the man who would be king. Rough-hewn Aragorn is as manly as they come as he slays loathsome orcs and woos elf princess Arwen, whispering sweet nothings into her pointy ears.

It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
16 December 2003

....even sitting in a plastic chair under the unflattering glare of fluorescent, in a drab office at Miramar Productions' headquarters in New Zealand, Viggo Mortensen is by far the dishiest bloke ever to have donned a crown.

The King and I
by Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph, 2003

He's holy and ridiculous. I've never worked with anyone so determined to create an interesting character. He's a good human being, and he's very, very hot.

Maria Bello
January 2005

How many peculiar things would one need to add to Viggo Mortensen's face before he ceases to be hot?

On the Appaloosa moustache and goatee
Awards Daily
Ryan Adams
8 August 2008

'I have just left the Ryerson Theatre, where I fear I have contracted a serious case of Viggomania - a condition characterized by fever, light-headedness, and general idiocy when Ultimate Man Viggo Mortensen is in the vicinity.'

Viggo, we love you, yeah yeah yeah
By Michelle Devereaux
Totonto International Film Festival
September 2006

Perched on a post like a big, black-plumaged bird of prey, beautiful Viggo Mortensen is a long-haired, soft-voiced, doe-eyed seducer.

Prophecy review
Sympathy for the Devil
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
MSN.com 18 April 2005

Mortensen is steadfast like a throw back to the old school smoldering actors that paraded about the prairies, years ago; sexy and very iconic American cowboy.

Hidalgo review
Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review

Mortensen isn't exactly pretty in the Beverly Hills 90210 sense. He's sexy and alluring in a dangerous way.

Behind The Screens - Tough Guy
By Eliza Krause
New York Magazine
23 September 1991

Casually dropping his name into conversations with the girls over the past 48 hours has produced more gasps, heaving bosoms and sighs of jealousy than a Lotto win.

"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
by Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times 2003

I'm a middle-aged father of two and I'm sitting in Wellington's Duxton Hotel eyeing Viggo Mortensen's bum. If a man's wife tells him often enough what a privilege it is to meet Mortensen, what physical perfection he is, what a sex god, this is what happens.

To thine own self be true
By Guy Somerset
NZ Listener
6-12 June 2009

You're a very attractive man. Do you think of yourself that way?

If it was important to me, maybe I wouldn't feel comfortable. For people to be interested in me for whatever reason is okay with me, as long as I don't have to call the police.

"I'm a guy who sticks his nose in everything"
By Stuart Gollum, Gala Magazine
30 August 2006

Quotable Viggo: 8 November 2009

You were expecting a photo of Viggo, weren't you? Well, this is the next best thing - one of his chocolates. Since being given it at Esher it's remained unwrapped on my mantlepiece like a relic. Dusting it this morning I though "It's about time we got around to chocolate on Quotable Viggo'. And not namby-pamby milk but real 80% cocoa chocolate (like Viggo). Lots of things make Viggo one of the most attractive men on the planet but a diet of serious chocolate probably helps. Come on... he practically lives off it. Viggo and chocolate, that's got to be the ultimate combination. Maybe I'll put Appaloosa in the DVD tonight and unwrap that little bar of gold....

© Iolanthe

...he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial...

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009

If only all interviewees were as pleasant as Viggo Mortensen. On entering the room at The Langham hotel in Melbourne, the Lord of the Rings star is quick to offer fruit, chocolate and drinks before the first question is even fired.

A Middle Earth Wartime Drama
By Adam Kamien
22 April 2009
Source: Australian Jewish News

He's smiling now and takes more tea. "It's very good for digestion. I also like chocolate. I eat a lot of chocolate. I like them really dark, really tasty."

He... presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

...there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon-covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

'Viggo blew me away on a daily basis.....He spent time in Russia and every day he would come to the set with something interesting: a piece of writing or a Russian chocolate or a photo album.'

Naomi Watts
Matt Mueller, Total Film
October 2007

Suddenly Viggo leaves the set and returns with a bag full of chocolate. The rest of the team look at him knowingly; an assistant explains to me that "it's a true addiction!" Gentleman that he is, the actor offers some to everyone. For my information he adds, speaking in French, "It's delicious! Made by a family firm. 80% cocoa! " He avails himself of about ten bars during the day.

The Road - End Of The World
By Mathieu Lecerf - translated by Chrissiejane
June 2008

To get ready for the role that made him a star, that of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he slept in his cloak, practiced sword fighting and probably would have studied Elvish and Orcish had grammars been available. For The Road he slept in his costume again -not much more than filthy rags- and lived on red meat and dark chocolate to lose weight.

Big Gun Takes On The Apocalypse
By Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009

Because his character has a child to protect, he is always on his guard, suspicious of all the people they meet. Yet when the camera stops rolling,Viggo is nothing like this borderline recluse. He gives, unsparingly, indiscriminately, ceaselessly. What's good for him is good for everyone. So the whole team benefits from his yen for chocolate, going through an entire bagful of chocolate bars every day, at his insistence. He has a weakness for a special variety, a mix of bacon and milk chocolate.

The Road Again
By Gerard Delorme - translated by Chrissiejane
Premiere (France)
June 2008

A few days later, as evening fell, he returned to Valdeteja bringing with him an enormous bag of goodies for the town's kids who by now know that Viggo never arrives empty-handed. There, in Anabel's bar, he resembled Jesus among the children. Scores of kids cavorted around him, watching eagerly as Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

"In those notebooks could be found faces of teachers I've had, of policemen, children, and old people suffering, giggling, sleeping, or otherwise lingering in emergency rooms, bus stations, on street corners, walking or standing on traces of roads or tracks through harsh deserts, prairies, icescapes, or urban wastelands. Here were all the toy soldiers, ineffective windshield wipers, first tastes of chocolate, wine, asparagus, venison, trout, chalk, ants, a Big Mac, dirt, dandelion stem, unsweetened yerba maté, duck, beer, snow, blood...'

Introduction to Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004
By Viggo Mortensen

He rents a car and loses himself, without any destination or navigator, alone, or sometimes with his son Henry (20 years old).

A chocolate supply (cocoa 80%), the 'mate', the camera and away he goes.

He stops, in silence, to catch a piece of sky, or an old man who feeds the pigeons on the shores of the Danube, or the sunlight which filters through the forest.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
Panorama First
July 2008

Quotable Viggo: 29 October 2009

Will The Road be Viggo's road to the Oscar? The film hasn't hit the multiplexes yet and many mainstream reviewers are holding out until release to give their opinion but as it goes around the festival circuit, his performance is garnering a whole bunch of praise on the internet, even from the minority of reviewers who are not so bowled over by the film. As the momentum builds to what Viggo described as a "road... more daunting than the road in the movie I'm making - and that one has cannibals." I think it's time to take look at the buzz developing around what Moviehole describes as possibly "his finest hour'.

Image Macall Polay. © 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.

Mortensen's performance as the lead is simply unforgettable and a sure lock for an Oscar nomination.

19 October 2009

Mortensen is brilliant in what is essentially a two man show starring him, and McPhee.

Chris Bumbray
16 September 2009

There are essentially two actors in the film and both are sensational. Mortensen has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and this may be his finest hour. Subtle, nuanced and saying little with so much, Mortensen gives a beautiful and powerful performance.

Paul Fischer at Toronto
13 September 2009

The film is a powerful, deeply emotional work filled with despair and pain, and anchored every step of the way by Viggo Mortensen in a strong performance that is largely physical... Mortensen captures the wounded man's pain in his wonderfully expressive eyes, and despite being faced with death all around him, he is a life force for whom survival is paramount.

John Foote
14 September 2009

Viggo Mortensen is predictably unpredictable and brilliant as the father desperately trying to live just because it's all he knows to do.

Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
16 September 2009

Actors Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee have difficult, physically demanding tasks. Mortensen, with an unkempt beard that makes him look like a mountain man, embodies someone who has decided to live instead of give up, and whose every ounce of effort is devoted to protecting his son. Smit-McPhee shows maturity and impressive range for one so young.

James Berardinelli
Reel Reviews
15 September 2009

Viggo Mortensen delivers an Oscar-worthy performance as a man whose humanity and strength of will must outlast the end of civilization.

Peter Howell
Toronto Star
13 September 2009

Mortensen is perfectly cast in this memorable role, bringing an all-or-nothing determination that makes you believe he has survived the horrible odds. In addition to constant fear and despair, his eyes convey a sense of humanity and undying parental love.

Linda Marotta
16 September 2009

Viggo Mortensen renders an amazing performance in a tough and demanding picture, which he carries on his robust shoulders with impressive skills and emotions. Rising above the limitations of the text (which reads better as a novel than a movie) and the movie, which for long stretches of time is silent, plotless, and devoid of characters, Mortensen gives a towering performance that holds the entire picture together-literally and figuratively. Thus, I hope that critics and audiences will be able to separate Viggo's distinguished work from the less than distinguished movie in which it is contained.

Emmanuel Levy
4 September 2009

The Father, hollowed out in the personage of Viggo Mortensen, tells his son to keep the proverbial fire alive inside his chest, and this small gesture of something bigger than oneself exists as a flickering light in a world of unrelenting darkness....Viggo is in full-on Christian Bale mode here as a spindly phantom of himself, chewing on crickets and running buck-naked. Most satisfying of all is that the film never cheats its audience, never gives in to any kind of easy resolve to its situations, but continues McCarthy's sadistic trials and tribulations as they pan out throughout the movie.

Mike Rot
Row Three Tiff Reviews
14 September 2009

Young Australian actor, Smit-McPhee is refreshingly unpretentious as a kid who has to grow up fast and plays wonderfully off a magnificent Mortensen who is rugged and ultimately quite touching as a father unwilling to let go.

Pete Hammond
3 September 2009

Mortensen's performance is superb, both emotional and physical. We feel his weakness, yet we also feel that near obsessive need to keep moving, and the exhaustion that comes with it. He is one of the few actors who can tell a story with his eyes, and these are eyes so full of pain. It is the best kind of acting, pure and honest.

John Foote
In Contention
15 September 2009

You feel every triumph and every scare. This wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the stellar performances from Mortensen and newcomer Smit-McPhee, who together make up a family that will be tugging at your heart throughout most of the film.

Alex Billington
7 September 2009

Viggo Mortensen's performance is definitely Oscar-worthy and so is John Hillcoat's directing. Do yourself a favor, see this movie as soon as it becomes available. And be ready to cry, scream and enjoy yourself.

The Best Movies from Toronto Film Festival
13 September 2009

Quotable Viggo: 24 October 2009

The BAFTA A Life In Pictures event last Saturday was a lot of fun, not least because it was great to hear Viggo relating anecdotes from some of his earlier films. Hopefully there will be a video soon and you can all enjoy him telling us how he managed to land a nappy on Al Pacino's nose. Sitting there taking it all in, I remembered that I have a bunch of quotes (both comments and reviews) that I haven't posted here before, all from his Pre-Aragorn acting days. Yup - even sitting in The Presence I'm thinking about Quotable Viggo...

Courtesy of Viggo's Celluloid Haven. © Miramax / Zenith.


'It was Peter Weir who, seeing me, said, "It will be interesting for (the character played by) Alexander Godunov to have this brother who follows him everywhere." And he asked me to stay six weeks instead of one! It was in June and July, it was very hot. As I had little to do, I passed the time in roaming around Pennsylvania on a bicycle I had found. I made friends. I was like Tom Sawyer, and they paid me, and I could watch the crew on set as much as I wanted.

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
December 2002
Source: Studio Magazine


It was a real low budget horror exploitation thing. The cast was a bunch of people [who were] New York stage actors. For that kind of movie, it was a pretty experienced group of actors; good actors got those parts. So, I was surrounded by people who really knew what they were doing, which was nice. It was fun to work with them. I mean, the story was what it was. It was a horror movie and it was on the cheap side and all that, but Renny Hahn had a certain amount of visual flair. Other that,I don't know if it stands out any more than the other movies at this time. I liked the location, I liked Wyoming.

Viggo talking about Prison
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
By Carnell
March 1999
Source: Carpe Noctem magazine #15

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

'I was visiting a friend in Los Angeles and he had a part in the third. "We need a man. Wasn't that something for you?', he asked. Why not? I had seen the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', and I thought there was something about it - in spite of everything. I hoped the third would contain the same. But the movie company got cold feet and cut away the most terrifying and gruesome scenes, and it ended up being a rather incoherent movie.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001

The Reflecting Skin

Mortensen doesn't appear until an hour has passed - but when he does he immediately marks himself as one of those actors who doesn't need fancy lighting to be incandescent. Cast as a young man returning from the Pacific (where he dropped bombs on sleepy atolls), he displays surly, distant passion that's at odds, yet perfectly in step, with a small town that is seething beneath its bucolic veneer.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
by Martha Frankel
June 1991

The Indian Runner

SEAN PENN: I think I stimulated Viggo's temper. And, as I remember, I think I got a little bit personal. But I think he was professionally responsive, he knew where to go for what I was looking for. When you're abusive to an actor, it's one thing-when you're abusive to a character, it's another. And I think I found it was helpful to both of us to raise my own tempo a little bit, get in the same place as him, share the vibe . . .

When Viggo Met Sean
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times
by Richard T. Kelly (UK: Faber and Faber, US: Canongate US, 2004)

Carlito's Way

"I wasn't having an easy time finding work at this time in my career, but because of my background I had some understanding of what this character could be and what the background was like.... I loved working with Al Pacino. He was unusually generous for someone in his position. He has a very open mind, and a very open heart."

Viggo Mortensen
November 2007

American Yakuza

...he most impressive element of the film is Viggo Mortensen, one of the most capable American character actors, here in a very unusual role of an action lead - tough, but sensitive man with a hidden agenda.

American Yakuza Video Review
By Dragan Antulov


'I sent him the script, he liked it and, only after adding a lot of riders and positive contributions and after hours talking about it, he accepted. He explores to the infinite, not only the character's emotions but also the wardrobe, all the things. He's so honest and generous,'

José Luis Acosta
Chiaroscuro: Viggo, Light And Dark
By Rocio Garcia
El Pais, Translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
17 May 2009

Crimson Tide

'Watching Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington was pretty interesting; to be at several scenes when they're arguing in speeches and stuff. I'd say that's fun to watch those actors go at it like a sporting event and I had a front row seat. '

Viggo Mortensen on Crimson Tide
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

The Prophecy

'I landed in The Prophecy the same way I did in The Lord Of The Rings, that is, at the last minute. I read the script on the plane taking me to the location. I accepted the part because I wanted to work with Christopher Walken, whom I knew personally. Even though I didn't have much time to prepare for the role, the character interested me and I explored his story. I see him as the prodigal son, very gifted but such a rebel that his father throws him out of paradise. I asked myself how he would have reacted. He certainly would have felt misunderstood, because he was the most intelligent and brightest of all the angels. Inevitably he would ask himself, 'Why has he rejected me?' So he would have had ego problems. Ultimately he's very human...'

The King Is Mortensen, Long Live The King!
By Marc Toullec
Cine Live #71
September 2003

Portrait of a Lady

What memories do you have of working with Jane Campion, on Portrait of a Lady? Was that special?

- Oh, yes! How I loved working with her! Her way of rehearsing, of discussing before shooting ... At the same time, she demands much more than you think you can give. I've rarely met anyone as demanding, but it's something an actor appreciates. I also think that Nicole Kidman did a remarkable job in that movie, and that she's not often as highly regarded as she should be. She is so intense ...

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002

GI Jane

His work in GI Jane was brave - he brought understatement to the kind of role that offers grandstanding opportunities on a silver platter.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001

A Perfect Murder

'...I'm surprised they let me do that, actually [the paintings]. There was just a little time before we were going to start and I just asked, "What if I did this myself? I showed them a couple of small samples and they said sure if I made this bigger and I said OK. So it was one of those things where you're at a job interview and they say can you speak Chinese? Because if you can speak Chinese you've got the job. And, of course, you go, "Yeah sure. You'll water ski or whatever. Then, you just figure you'll figure out how to speak Chinese between now and next Wednesday. Well maybe it's not that extreme... I like to draw and stuff but the reason they used photography in it was because that was something that I did know and I had a certain stock pile of images I could play with. That helped!'

Viggo Mortensen on doing the paintings in A Perfect Murder
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

Goto page: 1 2 ... 13 Next

Last edited: 15 February 2010 09:13:03